Citizen TV anchor kicked out over Sonko link

Emerging TV anchor Salim Swaleh has left Citizen TV in a low-profile exit that has the media industry guessing.

Salim, who anchors on Citizen Nipashe evening news programme, is said to have resigned last week without indicating where he is headed. Sources say he could end up at NTV, which is scouting for Kiswahili anchor after the exit of Jamila Mohamed to Citizen TV or K24, which is headed by his friend and former boss at Royal Media Services (RMS), Peter Opondo.

Information reaching Business Today media desk point to a deal gone sour for Salim, which incidentally conflicted with his job as a journalist. Salim may have found himself a victim of the war pitying Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and interior Permanent Secretary Karanja Kibicho.

The two have been at loggerheads, with Sonko accusing the PS of undermining him and scheming to overthrow him from the helm of Nairobi City County Government.

According to sources Salim was allegedly used by Sonko to fix Mr Kibicho by recording the PS saying negative things about the embattled governor and sharing the audio with Sonko.

After recording the PS at his office at the Office of the President on Harambee House, Salim reportedly delivered the tape to Sonko at City Hall. In the tape, Kibicho called Sonko all sorts of names.

Almost immediately, Sonko called a press conference and Kibicho got wind of what had happened and immediately contacted Purity Gathoni, Royal Media Service founder S.K. Macharia’s wife, to report the incident, touching off events that led to the anchor’s exit. As vice-chair of RMS, Mrs Macharia oversees the day-today-running of Kenya’s biggest broadcasting house and plays an instrumental role in hiring and firing.

It is not clear whether he was paid for this “assignment”.

Salim Swaleh joined Citizen TV in June 2016 and started off with presenting Kiswahili news on Sunday, taking over the Sunday show from Lulu Hassan and Kanze Dena.

Prior to joining Citizen Television, Salim was an editor at Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) based in Iranian capital, Tehran, for eight years. Salim was also a radio presenter and a special analyst on African news on the IRIB’s affiliate, Press Television.

Battle of the egos

Sonko and Kibicho have clashed on a number of issues, the most notable being President Uhuru’s succession. Sonko in April accused Kibicho of leading a plot to block Ruto from succeeding Uhuru in 2022, but Kibicho dismissed the allegations and advised the governor “to concentrate on cleaning up Nairobi”.

“Tell Sonko to man up and address the people he wants to address but not through me. He should address that person directly because that’s what men do. I am not a politician and neither would I be politicking around the DP,” Kibicho said angrily.

READ: CHRIS KIRUBI’S GOOGBYE POVERTY IDEAS

The bad blood between the two led to the recent reduction of Sonko’s security, which the governor took to claim someone was after his life. An audio recording emerged in which a voice believed to be Kibicho’s is heard talking strongly about Sonko. In the audio recording, the speaker says he can eliminate Sonko within a day if he wants.

“I’m a government officer and that’s what we are mandated to do. Let him joke, he won’t finish even a day he is just a minor,” he says.

Latest

Rose Ntong’ondu: Popcorn Hawker Who Owns a Multi-Million Beauty Empire

Rose Ntong'ondu, founder of Makeup by Rose, is a Kenyan-based makeup artist, teacher, mentor, and beauty entrepreneur.

Kenya Re New Awards to Stimulate Swift Premium Payment

The Kenya Reinsurance Corporation (Kenya Re) has launched an award scheme to recognise insurance companies that remit premiums on time. T

NSE Gets New CEO As Geoffrey Odundo Exits

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has appointed Frank Mwiti...

Uhuru’s Newspaper Dresses Down Ruto, Calls Him ‘Small-minded’

People Daily newspaper criticises President William Ruto and his administration, arguing “the disdain by the Ruto administration for the media has never been disguised.”

Follow Us

Newsletter

Don't miss

Throwing The Girls Into Deep End: Single Kiasi S3 First Look

Nairobi’s dating scene is about to get messy: Single Kiasi...

Win New Year Crossover Mugithi Tickets With Odibets

The event has attracted prominent Kikuyu musicians who will be headlining the event including Samidoh and Muigai wa Njoroge.

For Coloured Girls is Theatre Production of the Year

The play ‘For Coloured Girls (who have considered suicide/ when...

Tusker Oktobafest Rolls East African Cultures into One

From regional events across Kenya to inaugural gatherings in Uganda and Tanzania, and the Tusker Oktobafest grand finale in Nairobi, the festival harmonized traditions, celebrated diversity, and highlighted the rich cultural tapestry of the East African culture

Lupita’s Little Brother Junior Nyong’o Charting His Own Path in Acting

Junior Nyongó, who is also a musician and a DJ and now a graduate of UC San Diego with an MFA in Acting, is crafting his own solid path in the world of acting with roles in major theatre productions.

Safaricom To Power Tusker OktobaFest Beer Festival

Safaricom’s involvement in OktobaFest as a technology and payments partner will focus on fostering seamless in-festival connectivity, empowering the youth and Gen Z community through Safaricom Hook, and powering digital payments through M-PESA.

Music Producers Launch Organization To Streamline Recording Industry

Recording Industry of Kenya (RIKE) was launched on 9th October 2023. Registered in 2022 as a not-for-profit organization, RIKE aims to promote the collective interests of producers of sound recordings in the country.

Nairobi’s Hero Bar Listed Among World’s 50 Best Bars

World Best Bars: Hero Bar in Nairobi continues to climb the list, moving up six places to No.62 and Johannesburg’s Sin + Tax comes in at No.94. Dubai new entry Ergo is at No.69 and Melbourne’s Byrdi has re-entered the list at No.61.

Kenyan DJs Face Off In Smirnoff Battle Of The Beats Season 3

The Smirnoff Battle of the Beats Season 3, a DJ competition, is poised to unleash an unprecedented musical frenzy countrywide.

The Highs And Lows Of Betty Kyallo, Sisters Show As Season 2 Ends

Kyallo Kulture has always been, above all, about sisterhood, and in Season 2 we have witnessed the charm of it - the ups that gave us wholesome moments as the sisters led by Betty Kyallo spent time together.
BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke

Rose Ntong’ondu: Popcorn Hawker Who Owns a Multi-Million Beauty Empire

Rose Ntong'ondu, founder of Makeup by Rose, is a Kenyan-based makeup artist, teacher, mentor, and beauty entrepreneur.

Kenya Re New Awards to Stimulate Swift Premium Payment

The Kenya Reinsurance Corporation (Kenya Re) has launched an award scheme to recognise insurance companies that remit premiums on time. T

NSE Gets New CEO As Geoffrey Odundo Exits

The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has appointed Frank Mwiti the new CEO effective May 2, 2024, to replace Geoffrey Odundo who exits the bourse...

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here